Illinois apparently is the only state that seizes the licenses of drivers ticketed for speeding, says the Arlington (Il.) Daily Herald. That makes it hard for those ticketed to get into bars, get on a plane, even return gifts sometimes. In most other states, officers hand you a ticket and then you’re expected to mail in your fine. Some states take your license if you’re stopped for drunken driving, like California, or if you’re an out-of-state driver, like in Michigan. If you’re stopped in Georgia, the police officer can take you straight to jail if he sees fit.
While Illinois officers have discretion to allow a motorist to keep their license, it is rarely exercised, said Richard Casler, Schaumburg’s director of police. There is no law in Illinois allowing officers to take licenses. Instead, the policy is a rule set down by the Illinois Supreme Court, which decides how laws should be enforced. The Illinois Council of Chief Judges is considering a change in the rule. Some experts say Illinois’ policy is woefully outdated in a heavily-ID’d world. Retired Gen. Todd Stewart of the Program for International and Homeland Security at Ohio State University said Illinois’ policy presents a serious homeland security problem. “We are in an environment where there is a greater demand than there was 30 or 40 years ago to show a photo ID,” he says. “I’m a little bit surprised that taxpayers aren’t up in arms about it.”